2021 Short Course World Championships: Day 5 Finals Live Recap

by Michael Hamann 163

December 20th, 2021 News


The fifth finals session of the 2021 Short Course World Championships kicks off this evening in Abu Dhabi at 6 PM local time (9 AM EST). Finals this evening include the women’s 200 IM, men’s 50 fly, women’s 50 back, men’s 400 IM and women’s 100 breast, in addition to finals in the men’s 4×50 medley relay and women’s 4×200 free relay. There will also be a quartet of semis, including the men’s 100 free, women’s 100 fly, women’s 50 free and men’s 50 breast.

American Kate Douglass kicks off the first individual event of the evening as the top seed in the 200 IM, while Hungarian co-World Record holder Szebasztian Szabo comes in as the top seed in the 50 fly. After a thrilling men’s 200 IM final, the 400 IM may be the race of the night, featuring a showdown between the USA’s Carson Foster and Japan’s Daiya Seto.

Men’s 4×50 medley relay Final

  • World Record: 1:30.14 – Italy – 3 NOV 2021
  • Championship Record: 1:30.51 – Brazil – 4 DEC 2014

Top 8 finishers:

  1. (Tie) Russia/USA: 1:30.51 (CR)
  2. —-
  3. Italy: 1:30.78
  4. Brazil: 1:31.91
  5. Egypt: 1:32.56
  6. Poland: 1:33.13
  7. Norway: 1:34.13
  8. Lithuania: 1:34.82

In a thrilling start to tonight’s finals, Russia and the USA tied both for the gold medal and the meet record, which was previously set in 2014 by Brazil. The Russians got out to the early lead with Kliment Kolesnikov’s 22.76 leadoff, American breaststroker Nic Fink put the Americans in the lead at the halfway point with a field-leading 25.13 split. Andrei Minakov and Tom Shields were separated by only.01 on the fly split, while Russia’s Vlad Morozov outsplit USA’s Ryan Held by .15 on the free leg to secure the tie. The American quartet for Shaine Casas, Fink, Shields and Held also set a new American Record in the process.

Italy, who set the World Record just last month, settled for the bronze in 1:30.78. Lorenzo Zazzeri split 20.29 on the anchor for the Italians but ran out of space to run down the Americans and the Russians.

The Egyptian men re-broke their African record that they set in prelims with a 1:32.56. They were led by a powerful back half, with a 22.12 fly split from Youssef Ramadan and 20.44 free split from Abdelrahman Sameh.

Women’s 200 IM Final

  • World Record: 2:01.86 – HOSSZU Katinka (HUN) 6 DEC 2014
  • Championship Record: 2:01.86 – HOSSZU Katinka (HUN) 6 DEC 2014
  • World Junior Record: 2:04.64 – SANCHEZ Kayla (CAN) 14 DEC 2018

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Sydney Pickrem (CAN): 2:04.29
  2. Yiting Yu (CHN): 2:04.48
  3. Kate Douglass (USA): 2:04.68
  4. Melanie Margalis (USA): 2:06.02
  5. Bailey Andison (CAN): 2:06.13
  6. Ilaria Cusinato (ITA): 2:06.92
  7. Maria Ugolkova (SUI): 2:07.26
  8. Seoyeong Kim (KOR): 2:09.94

Canada’s Sydney Pickrem used a massive back half, including a 35.53 breast split, to take the win in the women’s 200 IM in 2:04.29. She turned in third at the halfway point behind China’s Yiting Yu and the USA’s Kate Douglass, but made up ground in the breaststroke and held her lead to the finish.

Pickrem’s win continues a fantastic meet for the Canadians, as is their second IM event win of the meet after Tennessee post-grad Tess Cieplucha won the 400 IM earlier.

China’s Yiting Yu broke the World Junior Record to take the silver in 2:04.48, while Kate Douglass settled for the bronze in 2:04.68 after coming in to the final as the top seed. The bronze is Douglass’ first individual medal of the meet, after winning a gold in the 4×100 free relay earlier in the meet.

Men’s 100 free Semis

  • World Record: 44.84 – CHALMERS Kyle (AUS) 29 OCT 2021
  • Championship Record: 45.51 – MOROZOV Vladimir (RSF) 3 DEC 2014
  • World Junior Record: 46.11 – KOLESNIKOV Kliment (RSF) 21 DEC 2018

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Alessandro Miressi (ITA): 45.58
  2. Joshua Liendo (CAN): 46.29
  3. Maxime Grousset (FRA): 46.35
  4. Ryan Held (UA): 46.36
  5. Sunwoo Hwang (KOR): 46.46
  6. Vladislav Grinev (RUS): 46.49
  7. Stan Jljnenburg (NED):46.60
  8. Jack McMillan (IRL): 46.70

Alessandro Miressi blasted a new Italian record on his way to taking a commanding top seed for tomorrow’s 100 free final. Miressi’s back half was the big difference, with his 23.58 2nd 50 being the fastest in the field by over four tenths. He enters the final as the top seed by over 7 tenths.

Qualifying second was Canada’s Joshua Liendo, who touched in 46.29. Liendo has been on fire this week, breaking Canadian records in both the 50 free and 50 fly earlier in the meet.

Also notable was South Korea’s Sunwoo Hwang, who tied his South Korean record of 46.46 to qualify 5th.

Women’s 100 fly Semis

  • World Record: 54.59 – DAHLIA Kelsi (USA) 3 DEC 2021
  • Championship Record: 54.61 – SJOSTROM Sarah (SWE) 7 DEC 2014
  • World Junior Record: 55.64 – SHKURDAI Anastasiya (BLR) 1 NOV 2020

Top finishers:

  1. Margaret MacNeil (CAN): 55.45
  2. Claire Curzan (USA): 55.64 (WJR)
  3. Louise Hansson (SWE): 55.81
  4. Torri Huske (USA): 56.13
  5. Elena di Liddo (ITA): 56.21
  6. Lana Pudar (BIH): 56.28
  7. Anastasiya Shkurdai (BLR): 56.42
  8. Farida Osman (EGY): 56.68

Canada’s Maggie MacNeil, the 2019 Long Course world champion adn defending Olympic champion who swims for the University of Michigan, qualified as the top seed in 55.45. She had the fastest second 50 by a wide margin, coming home in a quick 29.32. That may be an indication that she has plenty more in the tank for finals, as MacNeil is best known for her sprint speed and underwaters.

The USA’s Claire Curzan qualified second in 55.64, tying the World Junior Record in the process. That swim follows her 50 fly American and World Junior Records from yesterday evening after capturing the bronze medal.

Sweden’s Louise Hansson qualified third in 55.81, while Curzan’s future college teammate, Torri Huske, qualified fourth in 56.13.

Men’s 50 fly Final

  • World Record: 21.75 – SANTOS Nicholas (BRA) 6 OCT / SZABO Szebasztian (HUN) 6 NOV 2021
  • Championship Record: 21.81 – SANTOS Nicholas (BRA) 15 DEC 2018
  • World Junior Record: 22.34 – MINAKOV Andrei (RSF) 18 DEC 2020

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Nicholas Santos (BRA): 21.93
  2. Dylan Carter (TTO): 21.98
  3. Matteo Rivolta (ITA): 22.02
  4. Szebasztian Szabo (HUN): 22.14
  5. Grigori Pekarski (BLR): 22.35
  6. Nyls Korstanje (NED): 22.39
  7. Tom Shields (USA): 22.42
  8. Oleg Kostin (RUS): 22.43

In a battle of the current World Record holders, Brazil Nicholas Santos came out on top in 21.93. Santos initially set the World Record at 21.75 in 2018 in Budapest. In a disappointing finish, the Hungary’s Szebasztian Szabo finished off the podium in fourth in 22.14, just a month after matching Santos’ World Record at the European Championships.

Three years ago, Santos became the oldest person to ever win a world title, winning this event in World Record fashion as a 38 year old. He returned this year, as a 41 year old, to show that he still has plenty left in the tank and can compete with athletes nearly half his age.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter touched in second for the silver in 21.98, while Italy’s Matteo Rivolta came in for the bronze in 22.02.

Women’s 50 free Semis

  • World Record: 22.93 – KROMOWIDJOJO Ranomi (NED) 7 AUG 2017
  • Championship Record: 23.19 – KROMOWIDJOJO Ranomi (NED) 16 DEC 2018
  • World Junior Record: 23.69 – SHKURDAI Anastasiya (BLR) 18 DEC 2020

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE): 23.30
  2. Kasia Wasick (POL): 23.41
  3. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED): 23.54
  4. Abbey Weitzeil (USA): 23.63
  5. Mariia Kameneva (RUS): 23.74
  6. Claire Curzan (USA): 23.80
  7. Holly Barratt (AUS): 23.90
  8. Silvia di Pietro (ITA): 23.94

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom will head into the final after swimming a 23.30 in tonight’s semis. She will be flanked by Poland’s Kasia Wasick, who qualified second in 23.41, and the current World Record holder Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who qualified third in 23.54. Sjostrom’s lifetime best of 23.00 came in 2017, though she was 23.08 at last month’s European Championships so a sub-23 second swim could be in range for the Swedish star.

The USA had two swimmers qualify for the final, with Abbey Weitzeil qualifying 4th in 23.63 and Claire Curzan, just minutes after her 100 fly semi qualifying 6th in 23.80.

Men’s 50 breast Semis

  • World Record: 25.25 – van der BURGH Cameron (RSA) 14 NOV 2009 / Ilya (BLR) 7 NOV 2021
  • Championship Record: 25.41 – van der BURGH Cameron (RSA) 16 DEC 2018
  • World Junior Record: 26.26 – CERASUOLO Simone (ITA) 25 APR 2021

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Ilya Shymanovich (BLR): 25.55
  2. Nic Fink (USA): 25.68
  3. Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA): 25.87
  4. Fabian Schwingenschlogl (GER): 25.94
  5. Joao Gomes (BRA): 25.96
  6. Yan Zibei (CHN): 26.18
  7. (TIE) Arno Kamminga (NED)/Bernhard Teisthammer (AUT): 26.21
  8. —–

Co-World Record holder Ilya Shymanovich of Belarus will head into tomorrow’s final as the top seed in 25.55. Shymanovich, who won the 100 breast earlier in the meet, will face off with the 200 breast champion, Nic Fink, who qualified second in 25.68.

Italy’s Nicolo Martinenghi qualified third in 25.87, off of his lifetime best 25.37. Martinenghi was the bronze medalist at the European Championships last month.

The complexion of this final changed significantly with Turkey’s Emre Sakci being disqualified for the second time this meet. Sakci, who was also DQ’d in the prelims of the 100 breast, would have been the top qualifier in this race after touching in 25.52. That also would have forced a swim-off between The Netherlands’ Arno Kamminga and Austria’s Bernhard Reitshammer, who both tied for seventh.

Women’s 50 back Final

  • World Record: 25.60 – TOUSSAINT Kira (NED) 14 NOV 2020 / 18 DEC 2020
  • Championship Record: 25.67 – MEDEIROS Etiene (BRA) 7 DEC 2014
  • World Junior Record: 26.13 – SMOLIGA Olivia (USA) 16 DEC 2012

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Maggie MacNeil (CAN): 25.27 (WR)
  2. Kylie Masse (CAN): 25.62
  3. Louise Hansson (SWE): 25.86
  4. Analia Pigree (FRA): 25.96
  5. Maaike de Waard (NED): 25.99
  6. Caroline Pilhatsch (AUT): 26.05
  7. Holly Barratt (AUS): 26.18
  8. Julie Kepp Jensen (DEN): 26.50

Canada’s Maggie MacNeil obliterated the World Record by over three tenths to take the gold medal in 25.27. The swim is even more impressive given the context that it came shortly after MacNeil took the top seed in women’s 100 fly semis.

Her countrymate Kyle Masse touched second in 25.62 to grab the silver, just off of Kira Toussaint’s former World Record of 25.60, to place her third all-time in the event. Her silver here makes it a clean silver sweep in the backstrokes for Masse, who also finished second in the 100 and 200 back earlier in the meet. Notably Toussaint finished 10th in the semis and was not in this final.

Louise Hansson of Sweden touched in third to take the bronze in 25.86, her third medal of the meet. Hansson had already won gold in the 100 back and the women’s 4×50 medley relay, including breaking the World Record in the latter.

Men’s 400 IM Final

  • World Record: 3:54.81 – SETO Daiya (JPN) 20 DEC 2019
  • Championship Record: 3:55.50 – LOCHTE Ryan (USA) 16 DEC 2010
  • World Junior Record: 3:59.15 – SETO Daiya (JPN) 13 DEC 2012

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Daiya Seto (JPN): 3:56.26
  2. Illia Borodin (RUS): 3:56.47 (WJR)
  3. Carson Foster (USA): 3:57.99
  4. Alberto Razzetti (ITA): 3:59.57
  5. Kieran Smith (USA): 4:03.29
  6. Eitan Ben Shitrit (ISR): 4:08.31
  7. Brandonn Almeida (BRA): 4:08.77
  8. Balazs Hollo (HUN): 4:11.26

Japan’s Daiya Seto, the current World Record holder, led wire to wire and held off a hard charging Illia Borodin to win the world title in 3:56.26. Seto’s lifetime best of 3:54.81 came in the 2019 ISL finals in Las Vegas.

Nearly running down Seto was Russia’s Illia Borodin, who shattered Seto’s World Junior Record by almost three seconds by touching in 3:56.47. The Russian had a blistering freestyle leg, splitting 28.32/26.49 on the final 100 to nearly catch Seto for the gold. His swim also sets a new European Record.

The USA’s Carson Foster, who finished runner-up to Seto in the 200 IM earlier in this meet, took the bronze in 3:57.99. Italy’s Alberto Razzetti finished off the podium in fourth, though broke the Italian record in 3:59.57 and becomes Italy’s first man under 4:00 in the event.

Women’s 100 breast Final

  • World Record: 1:02.36 – MEILUTYTE Ruta (LTU) 12 OCT 2013 / ATKINSON Alia (JAM) 6 DEC 2014 / 26 AUG 2016
  • Championship Record: 1:02.36 – ATKINSON Alia (JAM) 6 DEC 2014
  • World Junior Record: 1:02.36 – MEILUTYTE Ruta (LTU) 12 OCT 2013

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Qianting Tang (CHN): 1:03.47
  2. Sophie Hansson (SWE): 1:03.50
  3. Mona McSharry (IRL): 1:03.92
  4. Alia Atkinson (JAM): 1:04.03
  5. Molly Renshaw (GBR): 1:04.37
  6. Nika Godun (RSF): 1:04.43
  7. Kotryna Teterevkova (LTU): 1:04.64
  8. Emily Escobedo (USA): 1:05.14

China’s Qianting Tan swam out to the early lead, splitting 29.79 at the 50 wall and never looked back, winning the 100 breast in a new Asian record of 1:03.47. She held off a hard charging Sophie Hansson of Sweden, who touched second in 1:03.50 for a new Swedish record.

Hansson grabs her fourth medal of these championships, after finishing with the bronze in the 50 breast and 4×100 free relay, and swimming the breaststroke leg on Sweden’s World Record-breaking 4×50 medley relay.

Ireland’s Mona McSharry, who swimms collegiately in the NCAA for the University of Tennessee, took the bronze in 1:03.92, breaking her own Irish record from the semis.

The field’s veteran, co-World Record holder Alia Atkinson of Jamaica, finished in fourth just off the podium. Atkinson was DQ’d earlier in semis of the 50 breast earlier in the meet, a common theme at these championships.

Great Britain’s Molly Renshaw touched in fifth in 1:04.37 to set a new British record.

Women’s 4×200 free relay Final

  • World Record: 7:32.85 – Netherlands – 3 DEC 2014
  • Championship Record: 7:32.85 – Netherlands – 3 DEC 2014

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Canada: 7:32.96
  2. USA: 7:36.53
  3. China: 7:39.92
  4. Russia: 7:42.46
  5. Hungary: 7:47.04
  6. Germany: 7:47.13
  7. Brazil: 7:51.87
  8. Hong Kong: 8:03.67

The Canadian quarter of Summer McIntosh (1:54.30), Kayla Sanchez (1:52.97), Katherine Savard (1:54.01) and Rebecca Smith (1:51.68) nearly took down every record on the books to take the gold in 7:32.96. That swim comes just a tenth off of the World and Meet Record of 7:32.85 from the Netherlands in 2014.

The clear standout split on that relay is anchor Rebecca Smith coming home in 1:51.68, the fastest in the field by almost a full second. Smith was the silver medalist at these championships, going 1:52.24 to finish behind Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey.

The Americans touched in second for the silver in 7:36.53. They were led by Paige Madden’s 1:52.67 anchor leg, which pulled them ahead of a virtual tie with the Chinese at the 600 meter exchange.

The aforementioned Chinese finished in third, with Li Bingjie leading off in 1:53.42. That becomes the third medal of the week for Bingjie, who previously won the 400 and 800 free individually.


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Crimson chin
26 days ago

Carson foster will cement his dominance over the beta that goes by Daiya Seto

Reply to  Crimson chin
26 days ago

this didn’t age well

katie’s gator cap :)
Reply to  Crimson chin
26 days ago

ahaha things that aged poorly

Reply to  Crimson chin
26 days ago

And you also forgot about the Russian joker in the pack. The Europeans have been warning you this kid is the real deal 😋

Reply to  Crimson chin
26 days ago

All this negative talk about ‘beta’ being thrown around. I personally loved beta fish growing up.

Resting Defenseless
Reply to  Crimson chin
26 days ago

Still the apprentice until the cement drys…when trash talkers get trashed.

Joel Lin
26 days ago

I don’t think these athletes get enough credit for putting up with the worst pseudo club music playing at the event for six straight days. My God this is awful. My divorce was more fun than listening to this while awaiting the events.

Stan Crump
Reply to  Joel Lin
26 days ago


Scotty P
Reply to  Joel Lin
26 days ago

I’m sure you spent time hearing real club music after the divorce..

Reply to  Joel Lin
26 days ago

Best comment all meet.

26 days ago

Imagine if Egypt beats the us today

mcintosh vs grimes
Reply to  Swimmerfromjapananduk
26 days ago

Imagine if egypt beats everyone not just the US?

Reply to  mcintosh vs grimes
26 days ago

Not that easy lol

mcintosh vs grimes
Reply to  Swimmerfromjapananduk
26 days ago

Sorry bud not happening

26 days ago

How many ties has it been now?

Reply to  Swimmerfromjapananduk
26 days ago

And how many DQs and DNSs? This meet is 🤯

Last edited 26 days ago by Chlorinebaby
Joel Lin
26 days ago

That was just awesome. Shields’ underwater off the turn was just filthy crazy. That last leg with Morozov & Held was as good as it gets too. Great great relay.

26 days ago

RSF and USA also tied the CR lol

26 days ago

Pickrem I think is borrowing liendo’s hat lmao